Table of Contents
The partnership between Nikonians and Epson again offered me the opportunity to test-drive a professional photo printer from the current lineup – the Stylus Pro 3880. Epson Europe was kind enough to lend the printer over a period of several months and I am more than happy to share my experience and impressions with all Nikonians. Therefore, a big fat “THANKS” to Epson Europe!
This will not be a laboratory-style review but a blend of subjective report and tutorial. I intend to provide information and reliable hints as to avoid frustration by duplicating my mistakes; tailored to those who newly own this printer or seriously consider buying one.
The review comes in two independent parts: at first we look at the device itself and how to make best use of it. Part 2 covers the four Epson fine art media “Hot Press” and “Cold Press”, presented at the photokina 2010 trade fair. These are cotton-based media of fabulous quality, albeit burying a slim risk for failure to the inexperienced user.
An extremely condensed summary might read like this: both the Pro 3880 printer and the new fine art media are capable of delivering truly impressive results – provided the user does it all right. Proper preparation is a must and the key to success. Do not expect fully automated perfect plug‑and‑play results. Instead, the printer mercilessly unmasks every mistake made, be it during picture taking, image processing or in printer driver settings. Garbage in, garbage out. As a user of such printer, prepare yourself to apply best practice to all the steps in the chain (use tripod, check light, apply color management,…) because – quality in, quality out.
Allow me to provide some guidance and read on.